When divorcing or separating parents contact us, the first question we often receive is “How do I file?” or “Where do I start with the divorce process?” They often feel confused and overwhelmed. We help guide divorcing parents through the process, working in close partnership with the Colorado legal system to ensure that all requirements are met, and families receive the support they need. If you have questions about the steps, the terminology or the process, we are here to help answer those questions.
If you reside in Colorado, have children, and think that you’re ready to file for divorce, here are the initial Colorado Law requirements to help you get started:
- You or your spouse must have been a Colorado resident for at least 91 days to fall under Colorado jurisdiction; only one party needs to be a Colorado resident.
- You must decide if you are filing separately or jointly. COCD recommends couples file for divorce jointly, to avoid the other party being served papers and potentially starting the process on an adversarial path.
- You must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation in the county where you or your spouse resides.
- Both parties must sign the petition before a notary. Either party can take it to the courthouse once they have both notarized signatures on the form.
- Pay fees to file. As of April 2017, it costs $230 to file for divorce or separation, and $222 for an Allocation of Parental Rights in the state of Colorado.
- There is a 91-day waiting period after filing before you can receive a final hearing, divorce decree and support order, if applicable.
- Parents must complete a Parenting After Divorce class taught by a court-approved instructor.
- All the forms that you will need from the State of Colorado can be found online through the Colorado Judicial Branch website. *Please note there are different forms and processes if you have children. Make sure you download the correct forms.
- Complete the sworn financial statements and provide supporting documentation.
- You may also be required to attend divorce mediation.
- You will be required to calculate child support and maintenance (formerly known as alimony). Learn more about financial considerations in divorce on our blog.
At the Center for Out-of-Court Divorce, we not only offer a less adversarial option to file for divorce that takes place outside of the courtroom, but we can also help you navigate the paperwork and court requirements while considering the needs of your family. Some of our greatest benefits to divorcing families go beyond the checklist and we customize our services to best help your family during this difficult time.
Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today and we’ll help guide you through the process.